Forum Index > Trip Reports > Winter on Mastiff 11/11/18
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rocknclimb
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PostSun Nov 11, 2018 8:24 pm 
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Neil, Danny and Liz joined me on a trek in the Stevens Pass area on Sunday.  The plan was to climb Mt Mastiff, traverse to Howard, then loop out via Crescent Lake and the Nason Ridge Trail.  Figured this was a bit ambitious with the short days, but thought we could give it a shot.  The road is passable by most vehicles, but my Maxima was not a fan.  Met Neil at the TH and were on the way by 7:30.  Knowing we would run into snow we settled on the NE ridge via Merritt and Lost Lakes.  Made quick time to Merritt reaching consistent snow around 4,900'.
Merritt Lake
Merritt Lake

The tracks in the snow stopped, so we broke trail up to a saddle 500' above Lost Lake.  It's a bummer losing that elevation to Lost knowing it needs to be regained immediately.
Snow scene
Snow scene

Surprised to find Lost Lake frozen upon our arrival at 10:30.  Neil booted across the middle of the lake while the rest traversed around the frozen edge much less confident.
Lost Lake
Lost Lake
Lost Lake and Mastiff
Lost Lake and Mastiff
Icy
Icy
Frozen lake
Frozen lake
Traversing around the lake
Traversing around the lake

From there we booted up snow to the NE ridge.  Things became difficult from this point.  Breaking trail in at least 4 feet of snow without snowshoes sucked.  Neil did the majority of the plowing, thanks!
Danny heading up
Danny heading up
Lots of snow
Lots of snow
Open bowl below Mastiff
Open bowl below Mastiff

Unfortunately it took us 3 hours to go 1,700' to the summit.  Knowing the traverse to Howard would require more trail breaking, we decided the safest decision was to retrace our steps.
Lake Wenatchee
Lake Wenatchee
Summit & The Chiwaukums
Summit & The Chiwaukums
Nearing the summit
Nearing the summit

The way down to Lost was much more enjoyable.  The entire group crossed the middle of the lake on the return.  Probably not recommended til it freezes a bit more.
Danny crossing the lake
Danny crossing the lake
Frozen Lost Lake
Frozen Lost Lake
Ice bubbles
Ice bubbles

Regained the 500' to the saddle and down all the way to the TH.  My car decided to not start to my dismay, but just ended up being a loose connection to the battery.  Another great day in the mountains!!!  9.5 miles, 4,100' gained.

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When asked "Why do you climb"?  Simply respond "Why don't you"?
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NorDub
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Location: Redmond
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PostMon Nov 12, 2018 11:17 am 
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What a great weekend to be out! Sun and new powder, with no avy risks. Looks like an awesome trip. We were up at Margaret Lake (4,800 ft elev.) by Snoqualmie, and had similar conditions.

I especially love the ice bubbles shot, reminds me of a jump to light speed from a star wars scene.

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But oof, I don't think I'd have the stomach to cross a lake in November, at just under 5,000 feet. I have trouble even thinking about that in the dead of winter; but I am very risk averse.
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mtn.climber
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PostMon Nov 12, 2018 9:29 pm 
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Nice trip.  With snow, I found the NE ridge route to be longer, but easier, than the standard south route that drops off the narrow ledge enroute to the summit.  Too bad no one thought about bringing along snowshoes.  That would've helped, I suppose.

Gives Neil and crew another reason to go back, since you missed Howard.

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Reach for the sky, cuz tomorrow may never come.

Live the life of love.  Love the life you live.
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ale_capone
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PostSat Nov 17, 2018 7:13 am 
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nice! thanks for the report! I'm an avid fan of frozen lake crossings. wink.gif

I went up to merrit lake last saturday morning hoping to just get a look at how much snow was on mastiff from above lost lake.. I was way less prepared and turned around at merrit.

merrit lake barely looked like it had an icy surface. surprised lost lake was walkable. that has to be a first fall crossing of lost lake! FFC's are a huge deal in the highly competitive world of the FLXers.

just kidding. cool trip idea though. your photos show me what I wanted to see. sharpening my skis and ice skates now.
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puzzlr
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PostSat Nov 17, 2018 10:58 pm 
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rocknclimb wrote:
Ice bubbles
Ice bubbles

Such a cool photo! Not the kind of thing you'd see on your average photowalk.  up.gif

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Justus S.
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PostSun Nov 18, 2018 1:48 am 
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Nice area for early winter trip. up.gif
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